The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Bicol is slated to launch a massive reforestation project this year in line with the National Greening Program (NGP), which is espoused by President Aquino as part of his priority program to fight global warming and climate change.
DENR Bicol Regional Executive Director Joselin Marcus Fragada put emphasis on the convergence approach to be used in the implementation of the NGP, seeking the efforts of local government units, students from private and public schools starting from Grade IV to college, other government agencies and tenure holders under various DENR programs and projects.
“We see a successful implementation of the NGP in Bicol through the active participation of various stakeholders” Fragada said. He said the NGP in Bicol will be highlighted by the El Verde Movement adopted by Camarines Sur Governor Luis RaymundVillafuerte, which will be launched on February 23, 2011, at Sto. Niño, Pili.
Fragada commended Villafuerte’s initiative to plant 12 million trees in a span of two years, which further fortifies the goal of the NGP to reforest at least 1.5 million hectares of open denuded areas through social mobilization.
“With this impressive showing of multi-stakeholders support by the El Verde Movement, the DENR hopes a replication of sort will eventually be gleaned from other provinces” he said.
Further, Fragada said the DENR will provide technical assistance to the El Verde Movement, which as of press time, a special order is being made to assign technical staff for the monitoring and evaluation of the trees planted to assure high survival rate.
Earlier, Fragada instructed the Forest Management Service, Ecosystem Research Development Service and all the field offices to produce at least a million of high quality seedlings and identify areas for the NGP.
The NGP’s national goal is to plant 125 million seedlings, which from the total projected output, 60 percent will be agroforestry, 30 percent forest trees and 10 percent urban greening. According to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje the greening project is at minimal cost to the government while resulting to a better projected carbon sequestration in a span of 10 years.
Moreover, the NGP marks this year’s celebration of the International Year of Forests as declared by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.